OLYMPIA – Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced formal adoption of a model rule on public disclosure.
The anticipated effect of the rule is to streamline compliance, standardize best practices and reduce litigation by establishing a culture of compliance among agencies and a culture of cooperation among requestors.
The rule was developed at the direction of the Legislature as part of a comprehensive public records law unanimously approved during the 2005 session. In late summer and fall of 2005, McKenna conducted a 13-city Open Government tour, which included panels from state and local governments, the requestor community and the media, who shared their views on access to public records.
The proposed model rule was widely distributed to a group of nearly 1,000 stakeholders, including local government, state agencies, legislators, community activists, the media, and others on Nov. 23, 2005. The proposed model rule and a web-based comment form were also posted on the Attorney General’s Web site. A public hearing on the rule was held on Jan. 12, 2006.
The final model rule (Chapter 44-14 of the Washington Administrative Code) was filed on Jan. 31, 2006. It is available for review at online as are the guidance documents referenced in the rule and the comments submitted by the public. The model rule takes effect 31 days after filing.
Based on comments from the public and the media, the Attorney General’s Office has issued notice to develop an additional model rule on access to electronic records.
People wishing to submit additional comments on public disclosure issues involving electronic records may submit them though March 1, 2006. The Attorney General’s Office also plans to conduct informal workshops on the issue. Information on these workshops and electronic records model rule will be posted as it becomes available on the Attorney General's Office Web site.
Contact: Janelle Guthrie, AG Media Relations Director, (360) 586-0725